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New User Welcome and Commenting Guide

Commenting Features

Okay. So you've registered for an account and now you're ready to really dive and maybe even start commenting yourself. Let me mention our comment quick keys here as well, which are really cool if you get into using them.

Press C to tab through new comments, Shift-C to tab backwards, X to mark a comment as read, and Shift-A to mark all read. Z will simultaneously mark and tab forward, and R will reply to the comment that has focus.If you're going to respond to a particular comment by another user, you'll want to hit "reply" underneath that comment instead of just posting from the main box. That way, the conversation will be much more organized.

Community rules

If you haven't read our Community Guidelines, please take a moment to do so. As far as etiquette goes, I think we are more polite than your "average" message board (I hate saying that because there isn't really an average board but I think people know what I mean).

Cursing has its place, especially on game day in the open threads. But keep it limited if you can. Search the site for those words to see how often they've been used. Less than I thought I have to say.

The main requirement we have is no insults of any kind. Choose to ignore someone rather than insult them. If you think something may be an insult before you post it, don't do it.

When you signed up for an account at Pats Pulpit, you agreed to not insult any other commenter. Nothing will kill your credibility or the mood of the thread faster than that. Don't roll in here and type "thats the stupidest idea i've ever read lol you moron." Effort is key here in the comment section. If you don't want to make that effort, there are plenty of other place you can go to talk about the Patriots.

You'll be warned once, then twice, then banned if necessary. Remember- this is a sports blog. Take a deep breath and step away from the keyboard if you are genuinely angry at a comment on here.

The "regulars" around here enjoy some leniency because they've shown over time to be respectful and intelligent commenters. Over time, you'll notice who they are and pick up on the vibe they and Pats Pulpit generate.

Keep your comments intelligent and you'll be welcomed with a vigorous and respectful debate.

Writing your own FanPosts

So you've made a few comments, now you're ready to do your first FanPost. Here are a few tips. Make the topic interesting. Put some thought into what you're writing. We have a character minimum (75 words) which means that you can't just throw out one line (unless it's really long). You'll be rewarded with a good stream of comments if you make the effort to proofread and fill it with good info.

Do not post entire articles from other sites. A link, which is always necessary to any article mention, and a snippet of the article is the max you can do. We can get in trouble for reposting entire pieces. Always link to an article or source you mention. Like I said above. It's part etiquette and part requirement.

Entertain questions from commenters and follow on what they say. Defend your new turf with vigor but while still following our commenting guidelines.

Utilize the formatting buttons above the text box. Use paragraphs. The quotes are for highlighting text and converting to a nice shaded background blockquote. The picture frame is for images, which are always nice.

Never write a FanPost or comment in ALL CAPS or without formatting paragraphs. You may have just written a great post but if it's a huge block of text with no formatting, nobody is going to read it.

Finally, once you're writing a FanPost, you'll see Show Editor Help on the bottom left of the text box. Click that and up pops a great users guide that goes into much more depth than I am now.

Here are a few more tips about FanPosts:

  • Browse the FanPosts already written to see if you are covering a topic that's already been posted about. Do your best not to duplicate topics in the FanPosts. Unless you have a unique angle on the subject, join in the current conversation on another post.
  • Try harder than "Here are 8 one liners about what I think about the Patriots" without any thought or analysis behind them. You'll generate more conversation and it will benefit everyone. How else are we supposed to kill time at work?
  • Utilize the "Rec" feature which is on every front page post, FanPost and FanShot right above the begining of the comments. If you like what you're reading, hit the "Rec" button. Once that FanPost or FanShot goes over a certain number of recs (which we can change at any time) it moves in to the "Recommended" section.That way, the best posts don't get lost in the shuffle.
  • Before you post, check over your writing for typos and other errors. If you use the browser Firefox, there are add ons you can get that will put a red line under misspelled words, making it really easy to pick out typos.

FanShots

Basically, FanShots are quotes, video, pictures or snippets of chats that are posted via a bookmarklet. If you don't have the bookmarklet installed, it's really easy. Click here and drag the link to your bookmark section.

Then, let's say you found a cool Patriots YouTube video. You go to the YouTube page of the video you want, click the bookmark link you just made in your browser and a window will pop up.

You'll see that the bookmarklet automatically grabs the code for the YouTube Video and allows you to send it to Pats Pulpit, in the upper right hand corner. It does the same for pictures.

If you want to do a quote FanShot, simply highlight the text you want on the page you want it from, and click the bookmarklet. It will automatically fill in the link information and you can send it on to Pats Pulpit.

Here are few more points about FanShots:

  • Use FanShots for breaking news and make sure you quote the most relevant section of the article you're linking.
  • If you have a thought that doesn't meet the 75 word minimum of a FanPost, put it in a FanShot.
  • Click here right now and take two seconds to drag the FanShot bookmarklet to your browser's favorties. Once you do that, you'll begin using the feature a lot more.

In conclusion

Have fun on here. I liken this place to an online sports bar, where you come in, see who all is around, and start talking about the New England Patriots. No insults, no pressure. Just Patriots fans talking about